Transius conference on law, translation and culture

Transius conference on law, translation and culture, in Geneva, 24-17 June 2015.

Transius is the Centre for Legal and Institutional Translation Studies at the University of Geneva. The only one of its members I’ve heard of (which means nothing, as they specialize in a variety of languages) is Suzanne Balansat-Aebi, who wrote a paper (2007) Probleme beim Übersetzen englischer Vertragstexte (PDF) which is rather good. I see she actually translates, which cannot be said of all those who write about the theory of legal translation. With these conferences, you have to be careful to distinguish between language in the EU (all languages of legislation regarded as originals, not translations; some legislation drafted by non-native non-lawyers), in Canada (lots of FR>EN translation using terminology of its own) and other areas of legal translation.

Here’s the lowdown on the 2015 conference from the above link:

The 2015 conference will combine keynote lectures, parallel paper presentations, a poster session and several thematic roundtables, so that all participants, from high-level experts to translation trainees, can benefit from the exchange of experiences. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

problems and methods of legal translation in professional settings
terminological and lexicographical issues in legal translation
legal translation competence and professional profiles
sociological and deontological issues in legal translation
the use of corpora and computer tools for legal translation
the role of translation in multilingual lawmaking, law application and adjudication
interdisciplinarity of legal and institutional translation
economic and financial translation in institutional settings
scientific and technical translation in institutional settings
quality assurance and management practices in institutional settings

Roundtables with speakers from various organisations will focus on the last four topics.

German foodie treats

Nine German treats you’ll want to eat right now

says The Local. Well, I think they could learn a thing or two about food photography here.

I don’t think they could find a Frankfurter Kranz so they had to bake one quickly (from a packet mix perhaps?). It is a traditional German cake, but I would have thought not so common now.

But no! They took the photo from Wikipedia!


The plum tray bake is maybe not quite in season yet?

Much better photos on delicious:days, albeit the English is weird:

Tell me, what is the very first thing you think of, when you see or hear the word “woodruff”? Probably the same I connect it with, a pretty nasty green color. For sure if you grew up in the 70s and 80s.

Hmm. That might be what I think when I hear the German word Waldmeister.

FIT Congress in Berlin

The FIT Congress, which I am not at, is going on in Berlin at the moment.

This means that a lot of tweeting is going on (hashtags #fitcongress or #FITcongress, I gather – I am only seeing what comes direct from people I follow).

Thus I gather that there is a marketing block in which Chris Durban is calling for action (picture).

This was preceded by a talk by Martina Wieser on using a blog for marketing purposes. Here is the weblog of Martina Wieser and Norma Keßler. Their blog is integrated into their website and has occasional posts, all aimed at a marketing effect (but what isn’t?).

My blogroll has gone and I have only begun to put together separate pages with useful links, I’m afraid.

SMALL RANT: Two of three things I received in the post were wrong. Instead of sending me the latest edition of Corinna Schlüter-Ellner’s Juristendeutsch, the BDÜ Fachverlag sent a book by Renate Dockhorn on Trados, of all things. On my complaint by email, they replied as follows:

Vielen Dank für Ihre Nachricht.
Wir sind ab sofort bis zum 06.08.2014 auf dem FIT-Weltkongress 2014.
Ab Donnerstag, den 07.08. 2014 sind wir wieder wie gewohnt für Sie zu erreichen.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Ihre BDÜ Weiterbildungs- und Fachverlags GmbH


Thank you very much for your email.
The office is not occupied until August 6th, 2014, as we are celebrating the FIT Worldcongress in Berlin.
We will be back in the office from August 7th, 2014.

Kind regards

I’m not holding my breath, but wondered how one might understand ‘The office is not occupied until August 6th’.

I also received a repayment of tax from HMRC, sent to my German address which was not relevant to the tax return. Since Deutsche Post does not understand foreign postal codes when forwarding abroad – it is incapable of putting a gap in the middle – , I am not very happy with this. The letter took a month to reach me.

Beck’sches Formularbuch Deutsch-Englisch

Beck’sches Formularbuch Zivil-, Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensrecht (Buch + CD-ROM) Deutsch-Englisch DE-EN

The third edition of this quite useful tome came out in 2014. It has a CD-ROM. I have the 2007 edition and I must admit I’ve scarcely used it, but it appears a lot better than some other such works.

If you find a contract or form that you need, you will also find a bilingual list of vocabulary and notes. The notes are on the German law. There is no discussion of the choice of English terminology, although I can see I would not always use the same. My copy is over 1100 pages long. It might be worth getting hold of a second-hand copy, as there won’t have been massive changes, will there?

This recommendation came with the Kater Verlag newsletter. There, you can click through to the Kater-Scan, which gives a better impression of the contents. But Beck-Verlag also offers details plus Inhaltsverzeichnis and Leseprobe online (Harte Patronatserklärung: Hard Letter of Comfort!)

Sitz der Gesellschaft: company seat

I seem never to have dealt with this problem in the blog. So I’ll quote myself on ProZ, where you can see others’ opinions too:


I prefer seat, because it is understood in English and doesn’t give the incorrect impression that it is a street address (unlike ‘registered office’). It is unpopular with some translators because it is perceived as ‘translatorese’, but in legal translation you can’t just take the nearest potential equivalent just because it sounds English – because, after all, we’re talking about German law, not English law.
I agree that ‘domicile’ is a possibility, but I don’t think it’s so widely understood (and a German domicile is a city, but an English domicile is a jurisdiction, such as Germany or England and Wales or California). ‘Corporate headquarters’ seems a slightly different context to me.

Here’s another one, where the asker said:

Please do not reply with seat. It sounds very awkward to me.
I am translating it as headquarters but wondering why I can’t say location.

Don’t you just love it when someone tells you what answer they don’t want? And even Beate Luetzebaeck hates seat.

Actually, the term seat is not so uncommon in company-law contexts, for instance in seat theory (PDF); Sitztheorie).

At present, there are two contrasting conflict of law theories as regards the recognition of foreign
legal persons: the ‘incorporation’ theory and the ‘real seat’ theory. The ‘real seat’ theory probably
dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century. According to this theory, the law of the country
where the company has its ‘real’ seat (i.e. its management and control centre) is the law applicable to
company relationships.

People may not like the word seat, but registered office
strikes a really odd chord for me, since a registered office is an address, for instance an address for service, whereas Sitz is a town, for example the courts of that town.

The German text might be:

Sitz der Gesellschaft ist Hamburg.

You can’t write: The company’s registered office is Hamburg.

But you might write: The company’s registered office is in Hamburg.